Masseria Li Veli is steeped in historical tradition. It was founded in the beginning of the 20th century by renowned Italian economist and professor, Marquis Antonio de Viti. In 1999, the Falvo family (with 40 years of wine experience in Tuscany) acquired the 128-acre run down Salento property on the southeastern peninsula or ‘heel’ of Italy and set out to rejuvenate the vineyards and cellar. Situated between the Ionic and Adriatic Seas, Salento offers a maritime climate with moderating sea breezes in addition to permeable karstic soils that lend roots access to underground water sources even during the driest of summers. The vines are cultivated in the ancient ‘albarello’ or bush-trained method, allowing the vines optimal sun and wind exposure yet providing an umbrella of vegetation to protect the berries from too much sun. Furthering the winery’s deep commitment to Puglia’s history, this rosato belongs to a line of wines known as ‘Askos,’ which is Greek for ‘wine jar.’ The Hellenic connection is important, as Salento is located on the ‘Limitone dei Greci’ (‘Greek Border’), a fortified wall that marked the border between Lombard and Byzantine populations during the Middle Ages. The Falvo family is committed to preserving nearly extinct varietals, such as Verdeca and Minutolo for white wines and Negroamaro, Primitivo, Susumaniello (the varietal from which this rosé is made), Aleatico, and Malvasia Nera for red wines. The winery has been certified organic since 2005. The initial nose of this rosato suggests pine, roasted fennel, cranberry, and sour cherry. Those aromas give way to fresh, ripe watermelon, strawberries, and rhubarb compote. Mouthwatering acidity and good tannin structure will allow this rosato to stand up to a wide range of foods. We loved this wine when we tasted a few months ago, knowing it would make a great wine to have on hand toward the end of summer and even into mid-autumn. Get a few extra bottles and enjoy as the weather cools down.